Mt. Washington is the second highest peak on the AT (the highest is Clingman’s Dome in TN). It also has it’s own weather. There may be sun at Lakes of the Clouds and 1.5 miles up there is a cloud. The chance of having good weather on Washington is pretty slim. As we left Lakes of the Clouds we were in a cloud. So, we knew that the weather up the mountain would not be good. We put on extra layers and rain suits. Castaway wore shorts. I would have been freezing!
The climb up wasn’t too difficult terrain wise, but we were buffeted by the wind and we couldn’t see 20 feet in front of us. We could barely see the next cairn to see where the trail went. The climb was slow going. N led the way as we trudged up. We finally could make out the towers on the top of the mountain and the snack shop eventually emerged out of the mist. We went in to warm up and eat some egg salad sandwiches. X has really been into egg salad sandwiches recently. As we waited we watched the weather and it was sobering to read about all the deaths that have happened near Mt. Washington. Most of them happened on a trail that we were not on. This was comforting.
We decided to go and take a summit picture, but were blown back in by rain and wind. It was so cold! After waiting about 1/2 hour the rain had stopped and we went up, took a picture and then were on our way. The wind about knocked us off our feet (we heard gusts were near 80 miles an hour), but we persevered. The hike was difficult as we climbed down to Madison Hut. It took us all day to go about 7 miles. We were exhausted, but felt good about the fact we were still going north. As long as we’re going north, life is good. 🙂